Industry News

TBAc™ VOC Exemption Announced

Published on 2004-12-07. Author : SpecialChem

Houston -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the signing of a final rule excluding tertiary butyl acetate from the definition of a VOC (volatile organic compound). The rule is expected in the Federal Register shortly.

Lyondell Chemical Company's tertiary butyl acetate (TBAcTM), a non-HAP (Hazardous Air Pollutant) organic solvent, is expected to find widespread use in coatings, inks, adhesives, industrial cleaners, photo-resist strippers and other formulated products as a result of the exemption and its versatile properties. TBAc offers broad solvency, an intermediate evaporation rate, low density and a flash point well within accepted industry parameters. The solvent's negligible photochemical reactivity prompted Lyondell to petition the EPA for the VOC exemption.

According to Gail Kelly, Business Development Manager, many TBAc-based formulations have been developed in anticipation of the VOC exemption. "The solvent's broad utility and potential regulatory status have created an enormous amount of industry interest," she explained. "We expect to see commercial applications for TBAc almost immediately." With the exemption, TBAc can be substituted for more reactive solvents.

From a customer perspective, TBAc offers a two-fold benefit in the formulation of products: First, its broad solubility -- the ability to easily dissolve a large number of resins -- offers the flexibility customers need when developing a variety of coating applications. Secondly, because of its properties, customers won't have to sacrifice product performance or ease of application when formulating VOC-compliant products.

Lyondell Chemical Company is the only large-scale global manufacturer and marketer of TBAc. Current production capacity exceeds 50 million pounds per year, with significant low-cost capacity additions available as market demand increases.

Lyondell Chemical Company, headquartered in Houston, is a leading producer of: propylene oxide (PO); PO derivatives, including propylene glycol (PG), butanediol (BDO) and propylene glycol ether (PGE); and styrene monomer and MTBE as co-products of PO production. Through its 70.5% interest in Equistar Chemicals, LP, Lyondell also is one of the largest producers of ethylene, propylene and polyethylene in North America and a leading producer of ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, high value-added specialty polymers and polymeric powder. Through its 58.75% interest in LYONDELL-CITGO Refining LP, Lyondell is one of the largest refiners in the United States, principally processing extra heavy Venezuelan crude oil to produce gasoline, low sulfur diesel and jet fuel.

Source: Lyondell Chemical Company

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